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Gaston Kaba – Health APCD in Niger Retiring

In Niger, Peace Corps, Public Health, Sustainable Development on April 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Wrote this in tribute to my old Associate Peace Corps Director for Health in Niger – Gaston Kaba:

My wife Andrea and I were PCV’s in Niger form 97-01. We were Ag volunteers so we didn’t report directly to Gaston. However, we found him to be a very useful and helpful Nigerien to talk to, especially in the beginning before we really knew what we were doing. We were volunteer leaders during the second half of our service and I had the opportunity to install new Health PCV’s in their villages with Gaston. He would always keep his cool – while PCV’s would be getting themselves very worked up and upset over perceived misjustices or misunderstandings, Gaston would always be able to work things out. I think in time the PCVs would come to understand how much Gaston helped shape the enabling environment in their villages. Having Gaston on your team as a PCV helped give you that gravitas – of having an educated, respected, literate and fluent dotijo – vouching for you, so your villagers knew you weren’t totally crazy.

I went to Gaston’s office one day to ask for some Child Survival money – about $500 – for a garden well in my village. At the time in the late 90’s he had a huge amount of money to spend on anything related to Child Survival. He asked me for a proposal, which I provided, and then I returned to my village for a couple of weeks. When I got back – he said – “I’ve got $3000 from the Rotary Club of Truckee for you – let me know how you can use it!” That money ended up continuing and expanding the Torodi team garden well project and the installation of at least 10 wells that year. And that’s really just a drop in the bucket of the 13 years Gaston was Health APCD.

So – from the bottom of my heart – I thank Gaston for his service – Na Gode, Ay Sabu, Mi Yetti, Merci Beaucoup! Sannuka da Aiki sosai.

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  1. I was able to exchange email with gaston kaba on friday may 15 by the way . I actually reconnected him with a Peace corps who was in Niger in 1972 to 1974www.niger1.com email niger1.com@Gmail.com

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